Whatever form it takes, every little girl longs for her Daddy to notice her and take joy in her. The CAPTIVATING retreat confirmed what I learned long ago in mentoring young women…the core question of every woman since Eve has been, “Do you delight in me?” The question originates in the heart of every little girl prancing in her frilly pink dress in front of her Daddy, or in my case giggling in my bare feet standing on Daddy’s shoulders… excitedly anticipating him so enraptured with his daughter he cannot help but exclaim, “You are Beautiful!”
However a Daddy answers his daughter’s deep soul question sets the stage for how she interacts with men for the rest of her life.
My Daddy seized opportunities to feed my heart. Even as a little girl he told me I was beautiful. I wasn’t, at least not by any cultural standards of the day. Truthfully, I was a physical mess. Stringy, long orange-red hair. Freckles plastered all over my face. Thick, black-rimmed glasses. Scrawny body supported by match sticks posing as legs.
One evening I sprawled out on the living room floor in front of the television, mesmerized by the Miss America pageant. Daddy sat down beside me, rubbed my tangled hairs and declared, “Someday you’ll be up there on that stage.” His smile still radiates inside my mind though I saw it through tears of incredulous surprise. As ugly as I was in the world’s eyes, I felt beautiful, not because of what the world said about me but because of what Daddy KNEW. He knew my heart and in it he saw Beauty.
All my life I longed for a man who saw me as Daddy did. A man who looks beyond the temporal externals to my heart and soul. A man who embraces the Beauty in me, who delights in me with all his heart, who inspires me to believe again that I could grace life’s Miss America runway, not because of anything form-fitting or glittering with sequins, not because of anything I’ve smeared across my face or sweat off in the gym. But simply because in my soul, I mirror Jesus.
A woman’s experiences with men can leave her wounded into believing horrible things about herself. Somewhere amidst the years of my heart being abused and neglected, I began to accept as fact endless messages from my enemy about who I am and what I deserve. In every epic story the Villain goes after the Beauty. Satan presented me messages I accepted as fact and buried them deep within me. The brunt of those messages, “I am not enough,” and “No matter what I do, I will never be enough.” I dragged my woundedness into the CAPTIVATING retreat. On the outside I carried myself with Miss America poise but on the inside I walked with a debilitating limp.
“Man…or woman…though standing upright, is but a puff of wind, moving like a phantom.” ~Psalm 39:5b
“ I am poor and needy and my heart is wounded within me.” ~Psalm 109:22
Thankfully God loved me too much to leave me in that condition. Like a bone healing crooked is re-broken in order that the patient might regain full use of the limb, God beckoned me to break the false beliefs holding my arthritic emotional and spiritual frames together. The pain was agonizing yet essential to my healing.
If you’ve ever cleaned out a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern you’ll envision a picture of what occurred in my heart and soul. With messy, pungent gunk dripping down God’s elbows He scooped years of my adversary’s lies out of me. He continued until nothing remained. He gently carved away pieces that didn’t belong, crafting a work of art. Finally He placed His light in me to shine.
Poisonous whispers no longer echo through my soul. My DADDY spoke truth into me.
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made, the Lord’s works are wonderful” ~Psalm 139:14
“…[God] rescued me because he delighted in me.” ~Psalm 18:19
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17
“I rejoice over you, rejoice to do you good…” Jeremiah 32:41
In Jeremiah 32:41 God repeated the word REJOICE for emphasis. What is amazing is the verb REJOICE originally meant “to spin around with intense motion.”
Can you picture it? The little girl stands expectantly before her Daddy. Arms outstretched, He picks her up and spins her with abandon. In an instant, I am a child again, standing barefoot on my Daddy’s shoulders as he wildly spins me around. Only this time, it is Abba Daddy who spins me with delight!
Watch this video and REJOICE with the One who REJOICES over YOU!
Y O U A R E B E A U T I F U L !!